Kartause Mariathron Jesu
Founded in 1330 by Duke Albrecht II of Hapsburg, the Kartause Mariathron Jesu became home to a thriving Carthusian community and enjoyed a reputation as a key spiritual center of the Holy Roman Empire for centuries. It fell into ruin in the early eighteenth century, changed owners several times, and then was sold to Austrian Architect Walter Hildebrand in 1983.
Since then, the magnificent frescos that earned the monastery the title, "Sistine Chapel of the North," have been restored to their original grandeur. So too have the splendid courtyards and chapels, and indeed, the entire complex.
Architect Hildebrand not only envisioned returning the monastery to its former architectural beauty, but to its spiritual significance as well. His dream was to make the Kartause a center for spiritual and intellectual learning, especially for Central and Eastern European students. Today, Franciscan University students share the Kartause with Language and Catechetical Institute students from former Communist countries.
The programs housed at the Kartause give Franciscan University’s semester abroad program a rich international dimension unlike any other. Students from 10 to 15 countries are incorporated into an intellectual community with a common bond of language and faith.
The Kartause Maria Thron with the town of Gaming in the distance,
nestled in the foothills of the Austrian Alps.